Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday led the 3rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meeting after its implementation in July this year. Important decisions in-terms of reducing tax rates on various goods and services, to ease of compliance norms for small & medium business and trader were taken in the meeting. The GST council meet was held to review the progress of GST after receiving feedback from businesses across the nation and state government’s. Implementing GST was India’s one of the biggest tax reforms after Independence and one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government main objective. 

Speaking after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley led the 3rd GST council meet bringing relief for millions after tax rate was cut on various items and easing compliance norms for small and medium companies, PM Modi said, “I congratulate FM Arun Jaitley and his team for engaging with various stakeholders for extensive feedback which led to today’s recommendations.”

“GST is in line with our constant endeavor to ensure interests of our citizens are safeguarded and India’s economy grows. Composition scheme has been made more attractive and other facilitation measures will make the GST even more people-friendly and effective,” PM Modi added. 

Top 10 major changes in GST for small and medium businesses:

  1. As a lot of traders were not satisfied after GST was first rolled out in July, businesses with turnover upto Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover will now be allowed quarterly filling.
  2. Major decision to raise the threshold for the composition scheme (A scheme under GST for taxpayers where small taxpayers can get rid of tedious GST formalities and pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover) from Rs 75 lakh in turnover to Rs 1 crore.
  3. Small business who can now file returns on a quarterly basis, the decision has been taken to increase compliance. Under this, restaurant businesses will pay GST at 5% rate, traders will pay 1% while manufacturing composition will be 2%.
  4. To address the liquidity problem faced by the exporters, FM Arun Jaitely announced refund process to begin shortly. 
  5. GST council conveyed it to the government to issue refund cheques for exporters who had raised the issue that their working capital was locked up. The cheques will be issued from October 10.
  6. E-wallets will be created for every exporter where a limited amount will be credited to pay their taxes. This objective has been aimed to be completed by April 1.
  7. Finance Minister indicated that the initiation of an e-wallet for the refund process will make the process smoother.
  8. In a relief for textiles industry, which was not satisfied by initial tax rates decided at the time of GST implementation, GST rates for textiles have now been reduced.
  9. GST rate cuts have also been done for unbranded ayurvedic medicines, e-waste, and plastic.
  10. GST council meet also discussed the ‘teething problems’ (difficulties that arise during the initial stages of a project) which has affected the manufacturing sector.

One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government major objective, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented in a major ceremony in the central hall of the parliament. Former President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other senior ministers, opposition parties were present in the parliament. GST was implemented throughout India which replaced multiple cascading taxes levied by the central and state governments. 

First Published | 7 October 2017 11:15 AM
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